Local Courses Go Green with Cypress Trees

TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. – Locally owned Ace Golf continues renovation of its Wentworth and Crescent Oaks Golf Clubs with the addition of 320 cypress trees and another 130 trees at its Pebble Creek Golf Club (450 total). The trees arrived late last month are being planted along pond banks, the favored habitat of water-loving bald cypress trees, on most of the 18 golf holes at each course.

Why more trees?

“We all have ways we like to help or improve our community; my thing is trees”, says owner Bill Place. “I grew up in Dunedin and worked at the hardware store as a plant buyer in high school. I think improving our environment is the right thing to do, so I’ve added hundreds of trees to my golf courses and even had 85 trees planted at my kids’ high school.

"We don’t actually need any more trees at any of the golf courses, and I created a lot of work for our maintenance staff to plant and care for them, but I love seeing them go in and grow up”.

The trees are just 4 feet tall now, but one day will grow to 50-70 feet. They are the ones that you see along ponds and in wetland areas with moss hanging from them. Eventually, Place hopes the trees will set his golf courses apart from other ones.

Golfers come to enjoy the outdoors. Trees, wildlife, ponds and beautiful scenery are part of that serenity. With 130 acres at Wentworth and 200 acres at Crescent Oaks, there are lots of mature trees and plenty of places to put more of them, including over 20 ponds.

Place did the same thing at the Pebble Creek Golf Club in New Tampa after purchasing the club in 2005. Within the first three years, he added over 1,000 trees, palms, and shrubs to that course.

“In 2008, we literally bought most of the contents of a nursery in the Miami area along with hundreds of trees from other nurseries that were auctioning off inventory as the economy tanked," he said. "It was a great time to buy trees.”

Ace Golf purchased Wentworth Golf Club from its members in January 2012 and Crescent Oaks Golf Club in August 2012. Both clubs were previously struggling, so Place renovated them, turned them semi-private (public may play), opened their banquet rooms for public wedding receptions and joined them with Pebble Creek under a single membership plan.

Wentworth and Crescent Oaks have since added over 100 members, welcomed public golfers and diners to their restaurants and hosted numerous weddings.

This summer, junior golf camps are being offered to all kids.

Wentworth Golf Club is at 2990 Wentworth Way in Tarpon Springs (off Eastlake south of Tarpon Ave.). To make a Tee Time to play Wentworth, go on-line at www.wentworthgolfclub.org or call 727 942-4760.

The club is open 7 days a week and its Mulligans Irish Pub is open to the public for lunch and dinner every day. Crescent Oaks Golf Club is at 3300 Crescent Oaks Blvd. in Tarpon Springs (Eastlake north of Tarpon Ave.). To make a Tee Time, go to www.crescentoaksgolf.com or call 727 937-4653. The club is open 7 days a week and its bar and restaurant is open to the public for lunch.


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